Stop Stressing It

Stop Stressing It

Four ways to relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Published May 10, 2011

Whether you’re worrying about paying the bills or making an important deadline, we all have stress. Sometimes those mildly anxious feelings can be helpful, driving us through a particular situation. Though when too much stress builds up it could cause physical and emotional issues including hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, ulcers, neck or low back pain, to name a few.


Studies conducted last year suggest that Black women had been even more affected by stress because of the idea that they always have to be a “Strong Black Woman.” This cultural idea that African-American women have to be the primary caregivers, be selfless, and never express emotions that could come off as weak.  


While I do believe that there is some truth to these theories I find it hard to believe that this is every Black woman’s experience. Regardless of what causes your individual stress, here are a few tips on how to stay sane:


Help somebody. Sometimes volunteering can give you a “helpers’ high,” making you feel better just by helping someone else in need. Not only that, but sometimes the things that we spend so much time stressing about can seem really silly when we see what kind of serious problems others are dealing with.


Pump up the volume. No matter what kind of music you’re into, listening to your favorite can actually relax your blood vessels and increase your blood flow. Now you have an excuse to turn it up, you’ll feel calmer and you’ll be helping your heart.


Have a good cry. It’s been found that around 85 percent of women feel a ton better after crying sometimes. When all else fails close the door and let it all out.


Find your pressure point. Take a page from Chinese medicine and apply a little pressure on the skin between your index finger and your thumb (the “hoku” spot) for about 30 seconds. It’s been known for years to be a proven de-stressor, according to research from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty)

Written by Brandi Tape


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